The impasse between residents of Rockley New Road, Christ Church and the contractor on the water pipeline project in their neighbourhood could soon be resolved.
Officials from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), which is carrying out the work in association with Infra Inc., today agreed to explore the option of providing an alternative route while the work is being done.
And BWA general manager Dr John Mwansa also promised improved communication with residents “so that distrust can be removed”.
The decisions were taken following a near two-hour meeting this morning involving residents, Dr Mwansa and Member of Parliament for Christ Church West Dr Maria Agard.
The residents are particularly concerned that their movement in and out of the community would be restricted between 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and expressed concern that if senior citizens in the community had medical emergencies, no vehicles could get to them.
They spoke about those issues when they met with their parliamentary representative on Wednesday.
Today, Mwansa said while it was difficult to eliminate all inconvenience, the authorities were working to find a solution that would minimize disruptions and provide access for emergency vehicles and for residents with
“There is a recommendation that was made about possible access through some areas. We will be investigating that to see how viable it is. We hope it is something that we could utilize and if it is feasible we will definitely deal with that,” he said.
Dr Agard said one of the challenges was that the alternative routes would have to pass through multiple private properties and permission from several owners would therefore be required.
“We are committed, in the spirit of cooperation. to finding a solution to this problem that satisfies most. We have several complex issues to deal with and bring to a resolution,” she said, adding that she was willing to approach the owners to get their cooperation in the matter.
Meantime, Mwansa said the project was critical to national development, given that at least one Christ Church and one St Philip community were depending on those water mains being laid.
He said thousands of applications for sub-divisions at the Town and Country Planning Department were on hold because the lots in those developments did not have access to running water.
“When this project was considered Town and Country Planning had received about 13,000 applications for sub-divisions in the Christ Church area, as well as St Philip. This project is intended to cater to some of those lots, but we are also doing some additional development work where we are digging new blowholes, just past Six Roads, to produce additional ground water to feed into St Philip and Christ Church to meet those demands,” the BWA official explained.
“That again is a project we are hoping before the end of the year . . . should be in place and so that development can then be allowed to proceed.”
The project, which should see the installation of three water mains, is to be completed by June.
The Rockley New Road leg of the work is expected to last for ten weeks.